To be clear, this discussion was focused on training, and not education. What is the difference you ask? In my context training is the process of teaching someone to accomplish something. There are right and wrong ways to accomplish the task, training is intended to show the individual the right way and hopefully not reinforce the wrong. Education, on the other hand, is the process of teaching someone to think and reason for themselves. Education should start with the premise that debate is healthy, questioning is expected, and at the end of the day there is a reasonable expectation for multiple right ways to think.
The researchers theory, and not her's alone, was that todays children spend so much time with video games, where instructions are few, they have developed unique adaptations to problem solving. They are able to quickly narrow down or focus in on the most likely solution sets based on experiences with other games and activities. The challenge in building training systems is how do we leverage this knowledge to build systems optimized for the target audience? I think the same question is a fair one for parents.
If we go back to the difference between education and training; clearly a parent has a dual responsibility. He or she must first train the infant to fit within the family expectations and only then can the ability to learn independence be realized. They say a child learns one half of everything she/he will learn before they start kindergarten. This means the parents role is critical to success later on. If the child is neglected in these formative years is catching up possible?
So going back to my original question -- how does a child learn? Maybe the better question is how do parents teach?